Sunday, 18 September 2011


The next time Max opened his eyes, he was looking straight up into the eyes of a hypno-technician. He recognised it at once, because the eyes locked onto his in an instant, and, never blinking, they began to implore him silently with their gorgeously soothing depths of limitless love.  But he wan't lulled and he wan't fooled. He was prepared for this and almost anything else they wanted to throw at him.

Tom Elliot watched through the one way window and shook his head grimly. A few minutes later, when the technician reported its lack of success, Tom sent it away and made the call to headquarters.

"Jack," he said, connecting at once through his direct line, "I hate to say this, but we blew it. We should have taken the wife, too. It's only been 8 hours, but I can see that there isn't a chance in hell that we can get Max to willingly join the Company. He's going to hold on to his plans and there is no way we are going to get them out of him."

"No, don't you think we tried that already?  We should have known he'd already be vaccinated against our truth drugs. And, no, he's way ahead of us there, too.  He's got some software block installed in him so our hypno-technicians can't get anywhere with him either. You have to believe me. We're lost unless the Director relents and lets us use torture." Tom paced the cubicle.

"That is, unless it's not too late to pick up the wife.  Let's hope it's not too late and she's still at home. Then I can get Dr Lerner to pick her up. I'll have him tell her that Max is staying with him and wants her to join him. I'll think of something - and I'll put together a back up plan, too. We're going to need her for leverage, I realise that now.  Yes. it was a mistake. Right. I'm on it now." And he hung up and stopped pacing to watch Max, who was still lying prone on the bed in the next room. Max was struggling with his straps now and looking pretty pissed off.

Might as well send one of the aides in there to let him loose, Tom thought. Get him to relax a bit. Wait for him to put his guard down. Then he checked the contact list on his cell for Dr Lerner's name. Yes, there it was.  Good. Max trusted him, so there was no reason why his wife should be suspicious. He rang the number. "Lerner? Yes it's me. Look, we have a bit of a problem with Max. No, he's fine. None the worse for wear, believe me.  Just misses his wife. Yes, I'll admit we made a mistake. We should have brought the two of them in together.  No, that's just the problem.  He won't give it up and he is insisting that we bring him his wife. We think we can get him to be more forthcoming if he is certain his wife is all right."

"I need you to drive over to their house and pick her up," he continued. "No, I have no idea if she's still at home or if she's noticed that Max is missing. I'm hoping that she thinks he's with you at the University." Tom watched Max through the glass again. He'd better get an aide in there quickly before he hurt himself. Then he turned away and sat down in the plastic chair near the small table by the door.

"Listen carefully, Lerner.  This is what I need you to do. First, I want you to telephone her. Tell her that Max came to your house early this morning. Tell her that he thought his data was being compromised, so he brought his PC with him and came to your home. Tell her he is with you and that he's safe, but that he is worried about her and wants you to bring her to him."

"No, just make something up if she questions you further, or wavers.  But tell her you are on your way and for god's sake, get over there as fast as you can.  Yes, and bring her here."

He rang off and standing up, pressed the  buzzer by the door to call an aide. A young man, dark skinned and fine boned, neatly dressed in white lab coat and carrying a small chrome tray with various glass tubes in it, answered the bell. "Dil," Tom addressed him, reading the name tag over his pocket, I need you to sedate our guest again.  You better do it while he's still restrained."

"Yes, sir," Dil answered, waiting expectantly for further instructions.

"Then, when he's out, I want you to take off the straps and remove them from the room, so that when our guest wakes up he can move around freely in our guest room and use the facilities. Understood?"

"Perfectly," Dill answered and, turning on his heel, walked back out into the hall.

Tom let the door shut behind the aide before sitting back down in the plastic chair and, with his elbows on the table, cradled his head in his hands and began to work out his backup plan.

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